Ephesians 5 - WALK

We started this letter from Paul with lofty hymns of God's greatness. The mystery that Gentiles were being welcomed into God's family.

We mentioned that "grace" is used with more frequency in this letter than any other letter of Paul. Paul makes it very clear in chapter 2 that our standing with God is NOT based on our goodness or "good" efforts, but by grace.

We learn that we are to SIT with Christ - we have been given a position of favor by God.

But we are expected to live a life, to WALK out our faith, to be different from others around us who are not living this life of faith.

A big part of this is how we treat "one another." I delivered a message a few weeks ago about this topic:
be kind to one another,
forgive one another,
serve one another


I feel blessed to be in a church that is living this out fairly well.

Abbey gave a really good message two weeks ago about being thankful. We are going to see that this is a principle Paul comes back to.

Here in chapter 5 Paul continues his presentation of ethics - how our behavior is to be governed.

Again, he makes it clear that we are to live in a way that is different from those who have no faith. It should be evident to those around us.
So, this is a continuation of Watchman Nee and WALK.

=============
PRAYER
=============

3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for Godís holy people.
4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place...[that is convicting to me]
but rather thanksgiving. [Abbey's message]

5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person...has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God...

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)...
11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.
[the context here is light and darkness - to get intoxicated can easily lead to doing things that you will regret]

This is a bit off the beaten track, but I think it might be helpful. I need to move quickly.
As I was reading this passage on light and darkness I remembered the mystery religions in the Roman world.

They would take new recruits into the darkness of the temple at night.
The recruits would be given some kind of alcohol to enhance their experience.
They would stumble through the Temple moving towards a dim light...kind of like going into a haunted house.

Music and drums are playing as loud as possible, also to stimulate the senses of the new recruits.

They would finally break into a room filled with lanterns and torches, so the brightness was contrasted with the darkness of the Temple. The whole experience was to be a rush on their senses as they "meet" the god of the mystery.

In many of these religions these recruits would have a wild orgy.
Kind of sounds like a bad frat party.

I think this is what Paul is doing here.
He is drawing a contrast between this kind of mystery religion where the actual worship and expected life is out of control...
with the how a Christian should live: sober, disciplined lives.

Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit...always giving thanks to God the Father for everything...

4:22 You were taught to put away your former way of life,
your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts,
23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
24 and to clothe yourselves with the new self,
created according to the likeness of God
in true righteousness and holiness.

I want you to notice: we are saved by grace and we cannot earn it,
but Paul is telling you, like a shirt or a dress...
we are to take off the OLD sinful self and put on the NEW self of God's spirit.

We have a part to play.
He has done the work, but we have to WALK it out in our daily lives.
Focus on doing the good in life and you simply will slowly stop doing the negatives.

Concentrate of being thankful and speaking "good" things to those around you instead of pointing out every flaw.

When you are tired and want to sit around watching junk on TV, get up and do something productive: clean or exercise.

When you are feeling down or sorry for yourself - call someone in our church to encourage them, or go serve them in some fashion.

My spiritual WALK has improved by watching less FoxNews and playing my guitar, singing worship songs more.



LET'S PRAY

++++
COMMENTS - QUESTIONS
++++

Troy Community Church

All Rights Reserved.
Troy Community Church
Christian Fellowship
1300 Henderson Highway
Troy, AL 36079